What’s next for the Trump indictment?


Former President Donald Trump endorsed Sen. Chuck Grassley to run for re-election during a “Save America” rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Oct. 10.

In light of former President Donald Trump’s recent indictment, a professor in political science predicts that a trial will likely occur at the end of the year.

On March 31, Trump was indicted on 34 charges by a Manhattan grand jury due to charges related to fraudulent business regarding allegations of extramarital affairs.

Trump’s arraignment marks the first president in history to face criminal charges. His attorneys now have the opportunity to file motions and try to get the case dismissed.

Dirk Deam, a professor in political science, said that the process requires considerable time and work from multiple parties.

“The attorneys for Trump will have an opportunity to respond to the charges; they will probably make some motions, and when that is worked out to the satisfaction of the judge, who will preside over the trial, there’ll be a jury selection,” Deam said.

Deam also said that the defense in this case is required to prove doubt in the prosecution’s case, which they have already worked to do by arguing that the case is a conspiracy.

“I think they’re probably going to go after the whole idea that this was some sort of a cooked up scheme or that this was a conspiracy,” Deam said. “That seems like the better or the more comprehensive argument that they would make in order to get him out because each and every one of the 34 counts of felony.”

Cody Swank, president of the College Democrats and a junior in human resource management, said he was not surprised by this indictment.

“I wasn’t surprised because I’ve been seeing it coming for a long time, no matter what the charge was gonna be” Swank said. “I feel like he’s in so many different lawsuits at the same time, and I just feel like one of them was going to get indicted, somehow. I just figured it would be January 6, but it has nothing to do with that, so that’s the only surprise that I kind of had.”

Georgie Hilby, president of Turning Point USA and a senior in agriculture and rural policy, was also not surprised but cited different reasons.

“I was not shocked because since he’s been running in 2015, they’ve been after him, and he was elected in 2016,” Hilby said. “It’s just kind of funny to see how much they’re going after him, and they haven’t found anything solid yet to back up their case. If they did, I’d be interested to see what they find […] in their investigations. However, they just keep going after this one person and coming up with nothing.”

According to the Associated Press, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, testified before Congress, providing representatives with evidence including voice recordings, emails and text message conversations he had with a lawyer for one of the women, as well as recordings of a conversation he had with Trump in which they spoke about an arranging to pay the other woman through the supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer.

Deam, Hilby and Swank all agree that Trump will likely run in the 2024 election regardless of the outcome of his trial, with Deam adding that nothing in the law would prevent this.

“I mean, there’s no restriction on running for president under the Constitution or federal law, and I may be missing something but I don’t think so,” Deam said. “If you’re a convicted felon–and he would be if he’s convicted in this case–I mean, quite literally, he could run for president from jail. That’s possible. It’s surprising, but it’s a sort of a quirk in our system.”

Hilby said she believes these charges will not impact his likelihood of securing the Republican vote.

“In my group, Turning Point, we’re kind of talking about this, and we all agreed that we think he will definitely have the people’s vote– at least for the Republican Party after this– and seeing his donations are already to his political campaign, I think he’ll definitely win the Republican vote if the Republican Party allows it,” Hilby said. “If not, I think it would be a huge write-in for him.”

Swank said the upcoming election depends on whether or not Trump’s indictment sways the opinions of moderate Republicans.

“I think the moderate conservatives are gonna realize that, you know, the Republican Party is kind of falling apart and dividing on who they’re going to support or what they support with their agenda,” Swank said. “So, I do think it’s going to affect it because I think more Republicans are waking up to realize we need a new leader because Donald Trump keeps losing. He lost the popular vote twice and was impeached twice.”

Swank and Hilby also disagree on whether or not the judicial system is acting fairly in Trump’s case.

“There are […] so many different people that they could look into, and they haven’t, and one popular case: Joe Biden’s son,” Hilby said. “There is evidence of that, and they just seem to ignore it and ignore it. I’ve heard both sides want to investigate that, and I am totally OK with them investigating Trump. If they do on both sides, however, I feel like a lot of people only see the one side of it.”

Swank said he believes this reflects the judicial system well.

“It shows that no one is above the law, including a former president, so if you break the law, you’re breaking the law no matter what,” Swank said.

Despite the charges, Hilby’s opinion of Trump has not changed.

“Again, they haven’t found anything,” Hilby said. “He’s innocent until proven guilty as the procedure of law goes. They still haven’t found anything that I think or heard of as an actual felony, and [they have not] been able to prove it because he’s still not in jail, and they’ve been trying for seven years. So, I just see it as another political tactic in order to kind of bash his name.”

Hilby also said she was sad to see taxpayer money go towards another trial against Trump since she believes the prosecution will fail to prove guilt.

Swank believes this event will be associated with Trump’s name in the future and will have real consequences.

“Fifty years from now, when someone hears the name Donald Trump, they’re going to think of nothing good that he’s done,” Swank said. “They’re gonna think of the insurrection; they’re gonna think of his hush money to a porn star.”

Deam said Trump has already challenged the integrity of the presidential office.

“In some respects, the dignity of the presidential office has already been challenged by the election of Donald Trump,” Deam said. “This is a guy who some people describe him and his supporters especially as nihilists; the whole idea is to just tear down the system, and if the idea is to tear down the system and you have supporters behind you, then at least a good number of Americans already don’t really believe in the integrity or the dignity of the presidential office.”